By: Kathy Warnes
Charles and Anne Wedel of Wisconsin began their forty-six year marriage on a nautical note and were still cruising full speed ahead.
In the spring, 1942, the Navy sent Charles, who originally hailed from New York City, to Great Lakes Naval Training station for training. He met Anne, a Milwaukee native, at a dance at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. They were married in August 1942 and he was shipped out three days later.
Once a year, and oh, how I wish it were more often, the gathering of the Straessle clan occurs at this place called ‘peace’. We laugh, share stories, heartaches, struggles, child-raising experiences, and without fail, peace. All of us know the smell of the cypress siding, the old well house, the pines and the oaks. The aroma that fills the air also fills our hearts. We all have different experiences of the same peace.
McDermott, newly married and barely out of his first year of accelerated surgical residency training, found himself shipping out overseas even earlier than expected, a 25-year-old surgeon assigned to an anti-aircraft mobile battalion. McDermott’s family and new wife watched from the lawn of their summer house on Marblehead Neck as his ship glided slowly out of Boston Harbor for an unknown destination.
MOUT Training, Ft. Devens, MA, 1973
Taken From Just a Few Lines: The Memoirs of Keith L. Winchenbach
By Keith L. Winchenbach was born in Rockland, Maine on July 13, 1923
Submitted by Jessica Winchenbach from handwritten notes from her grandfather, Keith L. Winchenbach. All chapters have been edited and proofed by Jessica Winchenbach.
I wanted to drive but had no license yet. I would work on the garbage truck so they would let me drive home from the dump. They had two trucks, a Chevrolet straight body and a Mack dump truck. The Mack was the most fun to drive as it had a sound all its own. It lived up to the saying Built like a Mack Truck.
The brigade boarded a train at Petersburg and departed for North Carolina. We stopped at Goldsboro and made camp just north of the town. Here, we witnessed the execution of three deserters. From Goldsboro, we went to Kinston on the Neuse River. We proceeded down the Neuse to New Berne, which was occupied by the Yankees.
Anyhoo, one Saturday as I briskly strode to the movies, this really old, old, old-looking, rag-clad lady approached me and held out her right hand...
Hey, my little naive generousity generating lovin' heart went out to the old gal and I joyfully handed her my quarter...and I felt so good and so proud...me, Howie, a Christian act of charity?
We hitched up our horse and off we went, Mom and Dad in the front, my brother, my two sisters and me in the back. It was a great adventure and great fun. At the end of the day, we headed home, up the long, beautiful road with maple trees creating an arch to our simple farmhouse. The farm was beautiful and Dutch, our faithful collie greeted us with a happy wag.
This story was told to me by my grandmother, Sylva Beaumont Coonley, before she died in 1995.
My parents, Harry F. Beaumont and Pearl B. Beaumont nee Halleck, lived in a nice little white house on a corner, on Lake Street, in Pontiac, Michigan, where I was born, February 20, 1912. My earliest recollection is waiting on the steps every day for my father to come home from the Spring Works. He worked very hard hammering red-hot steel into springs.
There was some discontent among the troops when they learned they would be receiving old flintlock muskets instead of Mississippi Rifles. I told my comrades that it was their duty to defend their home state even if they were armed with nothing but "rocks and sticks," and called each man willing to fight under present circumstances to follow me.
Our water came from a small creek that ran down the mountain from Papa's pond, although it originated higher up in the top of the mountain where it was actually a spring that bubbled out of a large crack in the rocky face of the mountain. We had hiked to that spring on numerous occasions, and as best I can remember it was between one and two miles up into the mountains, as we had to first walk down the holler and then head up by Walter's cemetery, following some old coal mining roads until they became nothing more than what was probably a mule path.
In Elementary Flying School in Canada, Keller learned to fly old biplanes called Fleet Finches. His instructor tied long red ribbons to the struts of his plane when he made his first solo flight. “I guess it was a warning for other planes to steer clear!” he notes wryly. He polished his training on Prince Edward Island, where he graduated to the powerful 450-horsepower planes called, ironically, Harvards.
Marion was one of the few who actually volunteered for the war. His voluntary submission to the U.S. Army came when he saw his brother’s draft summons. The cold reality of war was now knocking on his door, pulling his brother from the safety of The Lone Star State, and into the grasps of the armed forces. At that moment, Marion knew he wanted to go, not as a draftee, but as a willing servant. “If I don’t go, they’ll get me to go anyway,” he said stoically.
The school leaving age in those days was 14 and Billy’s father arranged for him to stay on another year hoping to improve his knowledge. However the truth of the matter was that Billy just didn’t have what it takes, which they now say is the result of unfair genomes distribution (biological makeup). So what he’s trying to say, is being a dum-dum wasn’t his fault and he’s not guilty your honor.
But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.
I waited for another vehicle to come and finally I saw the headlights headed my way. It was the bus with Cincinnati on the sign. I flagged it down and got on. We hadn’t gone very far until I noticed a good looking gal and her mother riding in the front seats. I started a conversation with her and learned that they had been visiting her brother at Camp Campbell, KY.
In November 1946 Billy was ordered to report to Kempston Barracks in Bedfordshire for six weeks basic training in the British Army. Entering the gates of this impressive foreboding looking fortress, which was built in 1875 and could easily be mistaken for a prison, he couldn’t help thinking that his only crime was to reach the tender age of 18.
Sooner or later, most people get asked,”And what do you do?” Depending on the kind of day I have had, I have been known to say, “I raise a mother.”
Needless to say, I have gotten some strange looks when I say this. I find that some people first look at me funny, then their expression changes and they respond, “Oh! You too?” We then start discussing this “job” we both share.
By Dale Castle
I have always been interested in how life was back in the 1800s. I never get tired of watching reruns of Bonanza and Gun Smoke or other old movies of that time period.
My cousin told me that Missouri Town would be having their annual Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music October 1st and 2nd, and if I wanted to really see and experience what life was like in the 1800s, I should spend an afternoon there.
KELLY DENISE BAKER
Henry Eldon Roberts was born in Strathroy, Ontario on Dec 28th, 1915 during World War I. His father was born in Londonary, Ireland and his mother was born in England. His parents migrated to Canada when they were just babies and met each other as teenagers. They lived on farmland and had to work hard for what they had. Henry's older sister, Ruth couldn't pronounce his name and referred to him as "Al," which became the name he was known for, for life.